Women In Sport : Pre-Confederation Newfoundland
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Playing real heads-up ball the Victoriennes yesterday afternoon won the first ladies softball championship of St. John’s when they triumphed over the Rangers by the score of 7-1 - (Evening Telegram, 21 September 1944)

Softball was introduced to St. John’s in late 1929.  The first games were played indoors at Prince’s Rink, just before the rink was flooded for the upcoming hockey season. Games organized outdoors in the spring attracted little interest and involvement in the sport faded. In 1936, a Canadian, Hib Saunders, attempted to renew interest in the game but without success. Meanwhile, softball had become very popular in Canada and the United States. It is not known whether women’s softball existed in this period.

During World War II, the Canadian and American military personnel were stationed in St. John’s, and their efforts to organize both men’s and women’s softball team were well-received. Interest in the sport continued and remains popular today.


Victorias Softball Team, 1945

Victorias won the St. John’s Ladies Softball Championship, 1945

First Row, left to right:
Mary Jackman, Pats Atwood, Dot Jardine, Mary Wadden, Maureen Brewer

Second Row, left to right:
Bill O’Reilly (coach), Nellie Sparrow, Mary Kennedy, Sheila Jardine, Mercedes Ronayne, manager Mac Davis

Rangers Softball Team, 1946

Front Row, left to right:
Audrey Brown, Lois Cake

Back Row, left to right:
Ethel Ash, Barbara Clark, Peggy Parsons, Frances Dodd, Louise Wiseman, Alison Voisey, Olive Wiseman

Our coach who is missing from photo was Mr. Bill Rahal Sr.


Janet Story
Audio "1940's Softball League"
Audio "Teaching Boxball"